If you weren’t in Edmonton, at the Starlite Room on Friday, January 22nd, 2016 – you fucked up. Striker, the speed metal band hailing from Edmonton, AB was hosting a party, a CD Release party for their fourth studio album, Stand In The Fire (read my review HERE) and everyone was invited. Through a spectacular showcasing of what the band’s home town has to offer and an immense amount of energy from all the bands of the night was enough to keep my head moving through to the next day.
First up on the night’s ballot was Sōlborn, a six piece symphonic metal group based out of Edmonton Alberta. The group is fronted by a woman who can be both seen and heard from the back of venues. She may be small, but with her bright purple hair and powerful vocals, Karli Romyn can’t be missed. She brought an element to Sōlborn’s performance that ensured it was memorable.
What seemed to be a large contribution to the band and their individual sound would be keyboardist Arys Iberian. With hair flying about due to an out of sight fan, the physical illusion of him floating angelically matches well with his playing. Iberian appears to be the driving force of the group, setting the pace and allowing the other members of the band to build off himself and his keyboard. Guitarists Cody Lloyd (who I believe has a physical resemblance to my editor Keven) and Mike Bell do work well together, however I feel like they are holding back and I would have liked to see and hear them push their limits more through Sōlborn’s performance.
Wolfrik is a newer metal band, also from Edmonton, AB. The group formed just two years ago in 2014. I had never heard of Wolfrik before the night of the show, but I’m happy that I’ve heard of them now because these guys are great. One of the first things that caught my attention was guitarists Kevin Perry and Mark Seifeddine. The two totally blew me away with the technicality in their playing. It’s intricate, fun, and was a blast to watch and listen to. Their chemistry alone is noticeable and they were engaged with the audience; concert goers took to the band quickly.
Dylan Toews, lead vocalist of Wolfrik surprised the shit out of me. I wasn’t expecting the range Toews produced and it took me back as there are moments of clarity, deep growls, and a unique rasp in his voice lined with some gravely undertones that sounds great, providing an edgy sound over melodic moments. Though I might not have heard of Wolfrik prior to the show, they’ve totally won me over and I will be keeping my eyes and ears out for their future projects and shows.
Next up was a group I hadn’t heard of before the show, L.A.M.S. An Edmonton, AB based hardcore punk band. Not hearing the group before and not knowing what to expect, I was taken back as the group of guys was a bit older than the rest of the other bands and general age group of the show. However age was not a factor when it came to the performance L.A.M.S. provided. With some strong influences of Suicidal Tendencies and SNFU within their sound, the group filled the venue with nostalgia and reminded the audience what great punk music sounds like.
Lead singer of the group Tavis Edwards might have had a couple or seven drinks before the set as his banter with the crowd seemed a bit misconstrued, however his performance was not. Edwards’ is voice is a high contributing factor in what gives L.A.M.S. that classic hardcore punk sound. Guitarist Carmen Jak gave his guitar shit and man, can he play. Jak played with tons of enthusiasm and at most moments while playing was the centre of attention. These group of guys might be older, but they’ve used their experience to perfect their style and the music they play is infectious and not many bands in their genre don’t do it quite like them.
With a great showcasing of local talent, The Starlite room patrons were ready for the main attraction of the night; Striker. Stone Cold Steve Austin’s entrance song began playing, the lights went dim and the group emerged onto the stage. Wasting no time, Striker dove right into their set list, kicking off their performance with Crossroads from their album City Of Gold (2014). The fast-paced song immediately grabbed the crowd’s attention and bodies started moving.
The ability this band has to produce so much energy is uncanny; constant involvement and engagement with the crowd, as well as more hair than an 1980’s year book, Striker puts on one hell of a fun show. Throughout the set list, the band included some of their new songs off their upcoming album, Stand In The Fire set to release early February. (review HERE)
I haven’t been impressed by a live performance, like I was with Striker in a very long time. The members of the group have an amazing chemistry and their charisma shines through while they’re on stage. From the insane, and I mean insane, vocals of Dan Cleary to the technical and impressive styling of guitarist Tim Brown, Striker was totally in sync and showed the audience what they were all about, playing newer material, including their single Too Late which was released late in 2015 and also playing fan favourites like, Full Speed or No Speed from album Eyes In The Night (2010) and Fight for Your Life from album Armed to the Teeth (2012) drew the crowed in even more as everyone sang along with the band.
Striker gifted the crowd with a two song encore and then stuck around the venue to share some words with concertgoers. If you missed the show, be sure to pick up their newest album, Stand In the Fire on its release day February 5th, 2015 – You won’t want to miss this one. (review)
Striker Set List:
All For One
City of Gold
Full Speed or No Speed
Out for Blood
Fight For Your Life